Tomorrow's the big day for all those eagerly anticipating the next generation of Apple's iPad. But AT&T, one of the expected carriers of "iPad 2," has other big news. The wireless communication carrier announced yesterday that it will begin selling the 3G-enabled Amazon Kindle e-book reader in every AT&T-owned retail store on March 6.
The Kindle 3G, one of the top-performing e-readers in our Ratings of e-book readers (available to subscribers), to be offered by AT&T will be the same model currently available online at Amazon and through other retailers such as Best Buy and Target. It will also carry the same $189 price tag and offer access to the online bookseller and the Web using AT&T's wireless 3G network—without a monthly wireless data fee. (The WiFi-only Kindle won't be sold by AT&T.)
"As the first dedicated eReader offered in our stores, we are confident the Kindle will be an attractive addition to our in store connected devices lineup," said Glenn Lurie, AT&T's president of emerging devices, in a company press release.
But will an AT&T Kindle or any other dedicated e-book reader be as attractive as the new iPad 2—or any other of the tablet computers now (or soon to be) appearing on store shelves? Certainly, dedicated e-readers have their advantages—including pricing that remains in the sub-$200 range. In fact, some speculate that if Amazon Kindle price drops continue at the current pace, the Kindle could be free by November 2011. And anything "free" is bound to capture anyone's attention.